Created By: unluckykillerchibi on March 30, 2013 Last Edited By: notShemp on August 22, 2016

Poorly Timed Confession

When a character reveals something at a very inappropriate time.

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Trope
Examples Please.

One of the side character's learn something important pertaining to the Hero's Quest - but the Hero's too busy saving the world and what not to hear them out. So after what seems like an eternity of Plot Derailment, Side Quests, and other "unimportant" things, the Character decides it's now or never and blurts out what they learned to the hero

Too bad they do it while the Hero's in the middle of a Heroic B.S.O.D..

Behold the Poorly timed Confession - when a character decides to make a startling reveal at a time where they should just keep their mouth shut or do it later. It may be important to the plot, or the character is sick and tired of having their issues pushed aside, but when they do it, it's usually just as the hero emerges from a Trauma Conga Line.

It could happen anytime - right after the Hero suffers a rather painful defeat by the villain of the week; when their Love Interest dies or is kidnapped with him helpless to do anything; While they're busy recovering from a Heroic B.S.O.D.; or even just moments after he receives a rather shocking reveal that leaves him questioning his very existence - when the character is suffering from trauma and just feeling plain bad about themselves, it's obviously the perfect time to tell them something that will just add salt to already stinging wounds. It can be a secret the character's wasn't suppose to learn about yet, a Love Confession, or it may be the character confiding in something the Hero (in their current state of mind) finds heart breaking or morally reprehensible. Heck, they might even be revealing they were working for the bad guys all along - just so long as they do it at a bad moment.

The Hero can respond in many ways - they could get upset and take out the stress they're feeling on the confessor, they could be shocked and the confession ends up adding to the drama they're dealing with, or they could try to deal with it and cause a huge misunderstanding and even lead to a Kick the Dog Moment, they may even not react at all or get even more depressed, but it usually ends up making things worse. How it's handled all depends on the writer, and can end up inciting a What the Hell, Hero? from the audience and possibly a few characters for the confessor's insensitivity or the reveal itself. Expect the confessor to feel really guilty later on.

Compare to Accidental Public Confession, Can overlap with Moment Killer. Also see Unwitting Instigator of Doom - where doing so cause major backlash in the story plot

No Real Life Examples please.


Examples

Anime & Manga
  • Naruto:
    • Sakura Haruno, after getting called out by Sai for how much of a burden telling Naruto to bring back Sasuke was, tries confessing to Naruto that she loves him. Naruto, under a lot of stress at this moment, calls her out on her Fake Confession.
    • Madara Uchiha reveals to Obito Uchiha that he manipulated things to get Rin killed so as to make Obito his pupil. Obito, whose starting to go through a Heel–Face Turn, fully switches sides as a result.

Film - Live Action
  • Played for laughs in the movie Bananas, where a felon rushes into a courtroom to confess his crime, but when he realizes this was the wrong trial, makes a break for it.
  • In the climax of Joe Versus the Volcano where Patricia "confesses" to Joe that she loves him... right before he is supposed to face his titular opponent.
    Patricia: I love you.
    Joe: I love you, too! I've never been in love with anybody before, either! It's great! I'm glad! ...But the timing stinks. I gotta go.

Live-Action TV
  • In an episode of ''Curb Your Enthusiasm", Larry confesses something to a mechanic just before he's about to fix Jeff's classic car, causing the mechanic to refuse fixing it, and he can't find any others who work on such cars.
  • In the Glee episode "I Kissed A Girl" Puck is comforting Quinn when she feels unworthy of love and has depression after giving their child up for adoption. Puck chooses this moment to tell her that he slept with Shelby, the woman who adopted their child and Quinn's best friend's mom.
  • At the end of one episode of Necessary Roughness, Dani finally realizes that she still has strong feelings for Matthew and goes to him to confess her love. Matthew, who's since moved on to a relationship that he's happy with, is less than appreciative.
  • Seinfeld:
    • George confesses to his girlfriend that she's pretentious, and so she goes crazy— right while she's in the middle of doing Jerry's taxes, causing her to throw all his accounts away.
    • In the first half of the Grand Finale, the private plane bearing Jerry, George, Kramer, and Elaine seems to be dropping into a crash landing, and while they all panic, George confesses to Jerry that he cheated in their contest, which means Jerry was the real winner. Afterwards, Elaine starts to make a confession to Jerry as well, but before she tells him, the plane stabilizes, and all is well again.

Theatre
  • A plot point in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Just as Sweeney is about to kill Judge Turpin, Anthony bursts in and blurts out the fact that Johanna (the Judge's ward, who he intends to marry and is insanely possessive of) has agreed to elope with him. Cue a massive Oh Crap! moment. Not only does it foil Anthony's own rescue mission, it also robs Sweeney of his chance to revenge himself on the Judge, tipping him into a Heroic B.S.O.D..

Video Games
  • Defied in Tales of the Abyss. Luke considers telling Tear he loves her, but because he is Secretly Dying and will not likely survive the final battle, he decides not to tell her because it'll hurt Tear.
  • In The Walking Dead Episode 4, Ben finally decides to tell Kenny about his dealings with the bandits which led to the death of Katjaa and Duck while walkers, that were accidentally let in thanks to him, are trying to break in. Kenny becomes furious and tries to attack Ben, but he was held back so he decides to not let him on the boat when they escape. And before escaping the area, Lee has to decide Ben's fate to live or die and Kenny silently encourages Lee to let him die.

Western Animation
  • In American Dad!, Season 10 "Rubbernecker", Roger and Klaus accidentally spill some wine on the new couch and they try to cover it up. Their cover gets blown by an insurance adjuster who's investigating Stan's story and Rogers pins the blame on Klaus. Roger calls Stan to confess that he was the one who spilled the wine on the couch but he called during the time the insurance adjuster was investigating Stan's car and he finds Stan's phone in his car with photos to prove that Stan has committed insurance fraud.
  • In the Futurama episode "Love and Rockets", Bender has been dating the Planet Express ship's AI, and decides to break up with her while the crew is trying to escape from angry Omnicronians. The ship is so distraught she gets hit, leaving the crew stranded in space. Later, Bender said "the moment seemed right" and he likes his break-ups to be as devastating as possible.
  • In Total Drama World Tour, Alejandro invokes this several times to mess with the other team:
    • In "Newf Kids on the Rock", a cursed DJ has to kiss a fish for a challenge and he notices that the fish has a Egyptian symbol on it. Alejandro tells him that that kissing the fish will break his Egyptian curse, but by the end of the episode it's revealed that Alejandro drew the symbol on the fish. In "Jamaica Me Sweat", with DJ believing that the curse is lifted, he starts doing well in the competition and he believes he can win. But when Alejandro "accidentally" confessed to Tyler about the truth about the fish with DJ standing behind him, DJ starts doing poorly and eventually gets eliminated.
    • In "Greece's Pieces", he invokes Tyler into doing this during the competition to create a rift between Gwen and Courtney, who were starting to become friends. Tyler witnessed Duncan and Gwen kissing each other despite Duncan being in a relationship with Courtney. Before the tie breaker match can begin, when Tyler reveals the kiss to everyone, Courtney became furious at Gwen. And while their team won the challenge, Courtney began trying to sabotage her own team into losing so she can vote Gwen off.
Community Feedback Replies: 32
  • March 30, 2013
    JDogindy
    Spoofed in the movie Bananas, where a felon rushes into a courtroom to confess his crime, but when he realizes this was the wrong trial, makes a break for it.
  • March 30, 2013
    notShemp
    In the video game, The Walking Dead Episode 4, Ben finally decides to tell Kenny about his dealings with the bandits which led to the death of Katjaa and Duck while walkers, that were accidentally let in thanks to him, are trying to break in. Kenny becomes furious and tries to attack Ben, but he was held back so he decides to not let him on the boat when they escape. And before escaping the area, Lee has to decide Ben's fate to live or die and Kenny silently encourages Lee to let him die.
  • March 31, 2013
    Stratadrake
    Did a spellcheck on your laconic - "revel" is an actual word (and, obviously, not the one you were looking for).
  • March 31, 2013
    unluckykillerchibi
    @Statadrake: Thanks
  • April 1, 2013
    Arivne
    Corrected some incorrect capitalization in the title and Laconic.
  • April 1, 2013
    1810072342
    Suggestion for page quote:

    Smithers: Sir, if we're all about to die, I want you to know... I love you, sir.
    Mr. Burns: Oh humbug. Thank you for making my last moments on Earth socially awkward.

    Can someone check the wording of that one?
  • April 1, 2013
    azul120
  • Live Action TV
    • In the first half of the Grand Finale of Seinfeld, the private plane bearing Jerry, George, Kramer, and Elaine seems to be dropping into a crash landing, and while they all panic, George confesses to Jerry that he cheated in their contest, which means Jerry was the real winner. Afterwards, Elaine starts to make a confession to Jerry as well, but before she tells him, the plane stabilizes, and all is well again.
  • April 10, 2013
    randomsurfer
    Thnere's the previous ykttw Not So Final Confession which is similar.
  • April 10, 2013
    unluckykillerchibi
    @randomsurfer: Thank you, but that YKTTW is more about dying declaration being done while they're "dying" only for the person to be not dead after all. This one's about a person making the confession at a poor time or when they aren't suppose to.
  • June 1, 2013
    StrikingViking
    • In an episode of ''Curb Your Enthusiasm," Larry confesses something to a mechanic just before he's about to fix Jeff's classic car, causing the mechanic to refuse fixing it, and he can't find any others who work on such cars.

    • Similarly in Seinfeld, George confesses to his girlfriend that she's pretentious, and so she goes crazy-- right while she's in the middle of doing Jerry's taxes, causing her to throw all his accounts away.
  • July 8, 2013
    keithtyler
    I'm reminded of the climax of Joe Versus The Volcano where Patricia "confesses" to Joe that she loves him... right before he is supposed to face his titular opponent.
    PATRICIA: I love you.
    JOE: I love you, too! I've never been in love with anybody before, either! It's great! I'm glad! ...But the timing stinks. I gotta go.
  • July 31, 2015
    notShemp
    Bump
  • July 31, 2015
    Tuckerscreator
    • In Halo Helljumper, the two squadmates Dutch and Romeo are about to be consumed by an explosion. They duck behind enemy bodies in hopes that they'' be shielded from the blast, and it's during then that Dutch chooses to admit that he put in for a transfer. Needless to say, Romeo is pretty angry when they emerge from the blast, though Dutch claims he hadn't admitted it until now because he figured if they died he wouldn't have to face Romeo's wrath.

    The comic doesn't have a page yet, but I'm working on adding one by today.

    Or would this go on Not So Final Confession?
  • August 1, 2015
    Arivne
    • Deleted (Needs Examples) from the Laconic as per How To Write An Example - Aim For A Final Draft Appearance.
    • Corrected spelling (umimportant).
    • Deleted Main/ from Main/RealLife. Main/ is the default Namespace, you don't need to include it.
    • Examples section
      • Added a line separating the Description and Examples sections.
      • Changed media section titles to All Caps.
      • Added asterisks at the beginning of examples to indent them.
      • Changed the Movie Namespace to Film.
      • Namespaced, italicized and Blue Linked work names.
  • August 1, 2015
    lakingsif
    That is a very long description and very few examples.

    • In the Glee episode "I Kissed A Girl" Puck is comforting Quinn when she feels unworthy of love and has depression after giving their child up for adoption. Puck chooses this moment to tell her that he slept with Shelby, the woman who adopted their child and Quinn's best friend's mom.
  • August 1, 2015
    TonyG
    In the Futurama episode "Love and Rockets", Bender has been dating the Planet Express ship's AI, and decides to break up with her while the crew is trying to escape from angry Omnicronians. The ship is so distraught she gets hit, leaving the crew stranded in space. Later, Bender said "the moment seemed right" and he likes his break-ups to be as devastating as possible.
  • January 6, 2016
    notShemp
    Bump.
  • January 6, 2016
    DAN004
    It doesn't have to be done to the hero, right?
  • January 7, 2016
    BKelly95
    Defied by the Evil Overlord List (Cellblock A):
    189. I will never tell the hero "Yes I was the one who did it, but you'll never be able to prove it to that incompetent old fool." Chances are, that incompetent old fool is standing behind the curtain.
  • April 26, 2016
    notShemp
    • In Total Drama World Tour, Alejandro invokes this several times to mess with the other team:
      • In "Newf Kids on the Rock", a cursed DJ has to kiss a fish for a challenge and he notices that the fish has a Egyptian symbol on it. Alejandro tells him that that kissing the fish will break his Egyptian curse, but by the end of the episode it's revealed that Alejandro drew the symbol on the fish. In "Jamaica Me Sweat", with DJ believing that the curse is lifted, he starts doing well in the competition and he believes he can win. But when Alejandro "accidentally" confessed to Tyler about the truth about the fish with DJ standing behind him, DJ starts doing poorly and eventually gets eliminated.
      • In "Greece's Pieces", he invokes Tyler into doing this during the competition to create a rift between Gwen and Courtney, who were starting to become friends. Tyler witnessed Duncan and Gwen kissing each other despite Duncan being in a relationship with Courtney. Before the tie breaker match can begin, when Tyler reveals the kiss to everyone, Courtney became furious at Gwen. And while their team won the challenge, Courtney began trying to sabotage her own team into losing so she can vote Gwen off.
  • February 12, 2016
    notShemp
    Bump.
  • February 12, 2016
    keyblade333
    Not sure these will fit based on the description is but here goes~

    • Naruto:
      • Sakura Haruno, after getting called out by Sai for how much of a burden telling Naruto to bring back Sasuke was, tries confessing to Naruto that she loves him. Naruto, under a lot of stress at this moment, calls her out on her Fake Confession.
      • Madara Uchiha reveals to Obito Uchiha that he manipulated things to get Rin killed so as to make Obito his pupil. Obito, whose starting to go through a Heel Face Turn, fully switches sides as a result.

    • Defied in Tales Of The Abyss. Luke considers telling Tear he loves her, but because he is Secretly Dying and will not likely survive the final battle, he decides not to tell her because it'll hurt Tear.
  • February 14, 2016
    HeroGal2347
    I'm not sure how this is related to Now You Tell Me, but it seems like it would either be a subtrope, comparison trope, or contrast trope.
  • April 26, 2016
    notShemp
    Bump.
  • April 28, 2016
    notShemp
    If the OP isn't working on this then I'll take on this.
  • April 29, 2016
    Arivne
    The OP unluckykillerchibi last posted here (and edited TV Tropes) in 2013, so they've been gone for almost two years.
  • May 24, 2016
    HeroGal2347
    One version of a confession that was badly timed (but really had an excuse for it) occurred in The A Team episode "Family Reunion". Murdock finds out partway through the episode that one of their clients for the episode, A.J. Bancroft, is Face's Disappeared Dad. Bancroft begs Murdock to let him break the news, but he can never quite work up the nerve and dies before managing to do it. This leaves Murdock to tell Face about it. As Face has always been upset about never having a family growing up, he understandably does not react well.
  • May 25, 2016
    DAN004
    Speaking of Na Ruto, does the time when Hinata first says to Naruto "I love you" counts as this? It's in the middle of Naruto vs Pain fight and Hinata got staked by Pain after she does that.
  • May 25, 2016
    keyblade333
    ^ Yeah it sounds like it fits. It isn't that she did it and the timing was bad for Naruto in the way Sakura did, but it was a bad time for it. Though to be fair she was sure she was gonna die so it depends on how you want to view it.
  • May 25, 2016
    StrixObscuro
    Live Action TV
    • At the end of one episode of Necessary Roughness, Dani finally realizes that she still has strong feelings for Matthew and goes to him to confess her love. Matthew, who's since moved on to a relationship that he's happy with, is less than appreciative.
  • August 22, 2016
    notShemp
    • In American Dad, Season 10 "Rubbernecker", Roger and Klaus accidentally spill some wine on the new couch and they try to cover it up. Their cover gets blown by an insurance adjuster who's investigating Stan's story and Rogers pins the blame on Klaus. Roger calls Stan to confess that he was the one who spilled the wine on the couch but he called during the time the insurance adjuster was investigating Stan's car and he finds Stan's phone in his car with photos to prove that Stan has committed insurance fraud.
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